Automated aerial seeding for rehabilitation at Glencore's Bulga Coal
Mining restoration activities are often conducted over challenging terrain to re-create a natural, rugged environment. These environments pose safety and erosional risks as well as limits to efficiency using ground-based methods.
In January 2019, Glencore’s Bulga Coal extended projects with Dendra Systems into aerial seeding. Bulga’s environment team wanted to incorporate automated aerial seeding into its rehabilitation program to address 3 primary needs:
1) Enable access to challenging environments
2) Improved site safety, and
3) Reduced erosion risk
Dendra’s aerial seeding platform was used to seed both native woodland seed mixes as well as pasture mixes to rehabilitate contoured slopes. Dendra’s monitoring platform was used to map the land before seeding to assist in planning, with post-rain monitoring to assess initial germination.
- Tractor breakdowns causing delays to seeding efforts
- Safety risks due to operation on steep, rocky slopes
- Increased erosion risk due to tractors driving over rip lines
- Aerial seeding overcoming terrain access issues
- Geo-tagged seeding operations
- Decreased soil compaction and disturbance due to aerial operations
- Seeding – data integration for before and after monitoring
- Decreased downtime due to tractor repairs
- Decreased soil compaction and disturbance
- Decreased health and safety risk likelihood
"Dendra helps Glencore overcome these challenges by providing unprecedented insights into the condition of the land and ecosystems using ecology-driven data science and artificial intelligence."
- Lucy Roberts, Corporate Head HSEC and Human Rights